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Unemployed

Did you recently resign from or lose your job? One option is to continue your coverage through your employer for a period of time. Contact your employer’s Human Resources department to learn about your health insurance options, including COBRA health insurance.

COBRA Health Insurance

COBRA health insurance is made available through state and federal laws that protect you from losing your health coverage if you lose your job, although you are not protected from high premium costs. COBRA may be your best option if you’re out of work, especially if you have a pre-existing condition.  If you have a pre-existing condition and your coverage lapses, you may have trouble getting coverage in the future. But as long as you continue coverage through COBRA, you are protected.

If you choose not to enroll in COBRA, other options to consider are buying your own individual insurance plan, finding low-cost insurance or getting government insurance

The Two Types of COBRA Explained

Federal COBRA (continuation coverage)

Federal COBRA protects you from suddenly losing health insurance when you are no longer employed by a company with more than 20 employees.

  • You can continue to be insured with your former employer’s group health insurance plan for a certain timeframe, generally 18 months.

  • Your benefits stay the same without any break in coverage.

  • Your cost is much higher because your employer is no longer paying a portion of the cost - you are now paying 100 percent of the premium plus any additional administrative fees.

PA Mini-COBRA (continuation coverage)

Pennsylvania’s Mini-COBRA law works much like federal COBRA, but applies to Pennsylvania companies with 2-19 employees. Your employer is required to provide you with information about PA Mini-COBRA within 30 days of your health coverage ending.

  • The benefits will continue for a set timeframe, usually nine months.

  • Your medical benefits stay the same without any break in your insurance.

  • Your cost is much higher because your employer is no longer paying a portion of the cost - you are now paying 100 percent of the premium plus any additional administrative fees.

 

PAGE LAST UPDATED » 3/21/2014